Green Rural Redevelopment Organization (GRRO), was founded in 2012 with a vision to revitalize Henderson and Vance County, North Carolina. We identified three critical issues that plague our community: poverty, food insecurity, and chronic diseases. It became clear that the other rural counties around us were impacted by the same issues, so we formed partnerships around our 5-County area and started addressing these issues. GRRO creates programs and projects that positively impact our community by providing:
avenues of economic development in the face of persistent poverty;
access to fresh, healthy foods for vulnerable members of the community; and
support health providers to reduce certain chronic diseases through access to better, fresh foods.
Counties we serve
GRRO provides a number of different services to rural counties all across North Carolina and has partnered with some of our state's largest nonprofit, healthcare and educational institutions to assist with the revitalization of rural communities through micro-market farming and food economics. GRRO provides affordable, healthy food to a number of rural counties listed below, and we educate rural communities on the importance of physical health, mental well-being, financial stability and other resources.
What was first a community garden created to help a trio of friends heal from trauma became the Crews Family Farm. Not a traditional farm, the Crews Family Farm was established as a micro-market farm. Micro-market farming utilizes a system of high productivity on a small plot of land, intensive planting and production methods, season extension techniques, and selling directly to identified public markets. The produce grown on the farm became central to GRRO's programming, and others in the area soon joined our micro-market farming community. Gardening became community farming with a purpose. GRRO formed a partnership with the city of Henderson and began converting abandoned lots into food-producing areas.
GRRO expanded by opening the Robeson Street Farm School, providing a structured environment for training new micro-market farmers. The group then focused on transitioning to organic and sustainable growing; both of GRRO's Henderson farms achieved USDA Organic and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Certifications.
GRRO then created a purchasing entity to buy produce grown by the new farmers, generating income for them. Our partnerships with governmental, private sector and non-profit organizations focus on healthcare providers and early childhood programmers to help reduce food insecurity and improve health outcomes throughout the community.
We help community members learn to use farming and growing fresh foods to generate income and funnel sustainably-grown produce to the disenfranchised in our community.
Meet our Board
We are honored to have such passionate and dedicated individuals serving on our GRRO Board of Directors. The organization's board is comprised of community members who also play an active role in various aspects of the work.
Col. Archie B. Taylor, Jr. (U.S. Army, Ret.)
Chairman, Vance County Commissioners
Rev. Dr. David Vellenga
Pastor, Nutbush Presbyterian Church
Fletcher Barber, Jr.
Farmer Recruitment Specialist, Cooperative Extension at North Carolina A&T State University
Retired U.S. Congresswoman
Dr. Rachel Desmarais
President, Vance-Granville Community College
Community Liaison, Julius. L Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute
Senior Director of Innovation & Equity Development Impact Health
Associate Professor, Duke University School of Nursing
Tribal Interim Administrator, Haliwa Saponi Tribal Council
Retired Director Farm Service Agency
Small Farm Outreach Agent, VA State Univ.
Entrepreneur, food security and home gardening advocate